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Free Pregnancy Healthcare Coverage

No matter your income or immigration status, there is help.  The Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department can sign up you for free temporary pregnancy healthcare coverage through a Medicaid program called “Presumptive Eligibility” (PE).  PE gives you short-term coverage while your application for full Medicaid benefits is being considered. 


Frequently Asked Questions about Presumptive Eligibility Pregnancy Care Coverage

Q: How do I know if I qualify for this temporary pregnancy healthcare coverage (PE)?
A: All pregnant women can get this short-term PE coverage while your application for full Medicaid benefits is being processed IF:

  • you are a Nebraska resident
  • you meet the income guidelines
  • you are not already on PE coverage

Q: What pregnancy healthcare services are covered during the temporary PE period?
A: The covered services include:

  • routine pregnancy related visits to your healthcare provider
  • treatment for pregnancy related conditions in mothers such as hypertension, anemia, infections, depression, and gestational diabetes,
  • treatment for pre-existing or other conditions that affect the health of the mother or developing fetus, and
  • emergency services at a healthcare provider when the health of the mother or fetus are in danger.  Those services are called “ambulatory prenatal care”.  Ambulatory prenatal care DOES NOT cover hospital stays and services connected to the delivery of your baby. 

For delivery and hospital coverage, you have to apply for full Medicaid benefits.  You don’t automatically get full Medicaid benefits just because you signed up for the temporary PE coverage.

Q: When does the temporary PE coverage begin?
A: It begins the same day that you complete your PE application.

Q: Where do I apply for this PE short-term pregnancy coverage?
A: Through the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department, located at 3100 O St., Lincoln Nebraska.  They will help you with the application and answer your questions.  Call to make an appointment at 402-441-8065.

Q: What if I don’t have a healthcare provider?
A: The Health Department will help you find one and make an appointment when you come in to apply for PE.

Q: How do I apply for full Medicaid benefits to cover the rest of my pregnancy, delivery, and other healthcare needs?
A: You can start the application for full Medicare coverage at the same time you apply for PE coverage at the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department.

Q: How do I prove my income?
A: You can bring pay stubs, tax returns, or W2s with you.

Q: What happens after I complete the application for full Medicaid coverage?
A: The Health Department will mail your application for full Medicaid benefits to the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) within the next 1-2 days. You will be contacted by DHHS within the next 2-4 weeks about your application. DHHS may contact you by letter or they may call you to schedule an appointment to review your application.If you do not hear from them in 3-4 weeks, you need to contact them to check on the status of your application. Call DHHS at 402-323-7455.  It is very important that you respond right away if DHHS has questions about your Medicaid application.  

Remember, getting approved for the PE short term pregnancy healthcare coverage is not the same as being approved for Medicaid. Your PE coverage is only temporary while DHHS determines if you qualify for full Medicaid benefits to cover the costs of your delivery and hospital stay.

Q: What happens if I do not submit a full Medicaid application?
A:  Your PE pregnancy care coverage will end on the last day of the next month.

Q:  What if my income is too high to get full Medicaid healthcare coverage?
A:  There are other income-based programs that you may qualify for. Read about them.